Anti-Vax Republicans Delay Votes, Slow Congress

Republicans have gone full anti-vax, and it’s delaying Congress and holding up progress. A new report shows that in Congress, as across the nation, there’s a GOP-led movement against the COVID-19 vaccine, and it’s doing tangible harm.

Madison Cawthorn and antivax right-wingers slow votes
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]

According to AlterNet, the refusal of Republicans to be vaccinated isn’t just slowing the nation’s progress to herd immunity — it’s also slowing Congress. One in every four Members of Congress is yet to be vaccinated, with several Republican Members stating their refusal publicly, and the result is that House votes have to be divided into multiple separate groupings, in order to maintain distancing and minimize spread.

This practice — protective, preventative, and tedious — was necessarily implemented as a part of the pandemic response, but could be dispensed with now if our Representatives would accept the vaccine.

It’s not the first time Republicans in Congress have been accused of doing harm through COVID denial or refusal to take minimal precautions. The Washington Post reported in January that after Republican lawmakers refused to wear masks in the safe location where they sheltered during the insurrection attempt, several Democrats tested positive for the virus, and they believe their colleagues across the aisle exposed them through carelessness.

In fact, Forbes reported last year that a study found then-President Donald Trump tied to more than a third of all misinformation about COVID-19, and deemed him the “single largest driver of misinformation” about the pandemic.

What kind of misinformation are Republican Representatives relying on and spreading? For example, Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has said that at age 25, “the survival rate is too high” for him to get the vaccine. This conveniently misses three points: that the vaccine can help prevent spreading the virus to others, who may be less healthy, that young adults have died from COVID-19, and that even a mild illness could mean taking up the time and energy of healthcare workers from other patients.

According to Newsweek, Senator Ron Johnson also spread information that opposes expert advice, saying that he has “probably…the best immunity possible” from having already had the virus. The CDC has asked those who have been infected to be vaccinated, since there’s been no adequate testing of post-virus immunity, and patients have been re-infected.

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